What is real right now?
What is actually happening in your current physical experience?
So often our triggers lead to inner threats about our future or repeats of past pains, and they have no bearing on what is actually happening in the moment. When the mind is this out-of-sync with reality, this shines a big bright light on problems with the ego. Along with that, seeing that we aren’t in any actual danger allows us to let go more deeply to process whatever pain that may be surfacing. Remember that a past event we are feeling is long gone. Our ex-lover isn’t yelling at us even though we’re feeling the sadness of the event right now. The future status of our finances is also not right now. So long as we are warm, clothed, housed, and fed, money worries are not real. This doesn’t mean we lose our ability to plan for the future. Actually, by focusing on what is real in this moment, we amplify our abilities to shape our futures.
In so many ways, a spiritual awakening is a shift back to reality. So much of what people have been taught is reality is wrong. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts. It’s just wrong. As such, people go through a lot of surprising spiritual revelations as they break away from these illusions and finally start to see life for what it is.
Again and again, I have stories shared with me that simply reflect people’s inner conflict with illusion and truth. To be sure, illusions and lies run deep. People have become experts at building seemingly indestructible logic based off of lies. But you can build a vault on a swamp, and it will sink, taking you with it. Oftentimes, I simply won’t engage with the discussion at hand with some of my students because they are too stuck in the vault, and I don’t accept the assumptions and lies that create its walls. Instead, I point to people’s assumptions to make them look at that inner structure, which is what is really under threat. It’s why people feel like they are losing their minds. The old ways of thinking have to go away because they are so distorted and wrong.
But when we cling to the old ways of thinking and behaving, we become more and more upset. The harder someone holds on, the more lost they feel. Certainly, a spiritual awakening brings about disorienting moments, but when you abide in those uncertainties, they eventually calm down. Life gets a bit clearer and freer. For some of you, you will be thrust deeper and deeper into issues without much rest, but the more you simply look at what is arising and stop trying to force it into an old idea of how life should go or how you should feel, the more easily you can see the truth that is being revealed to you.
Continued Spiritual Revelations and Revealings
I really like to emphasize that a spiritual revelation is a revealing. Truth is not being added into you. It is being uncovered and revealed. Like an ancient tomb full of wisdom and jewels, a spiritual awakening will force you to dig through layers of sand, sediment, and debris to unearth yourself. It’s sad that so many of us have become buried so deep, but fortunately, abiding in a space of truth eventually becomes easy because it is our nature state.
While initial revelations may be shocking to the ego self, a lot of times people admit to themselves that they did kinda know this truth all along. And of course you did! You’re not a stupid being incapable of wisdom. You already have wisdom. We all have it. That’s why you can resonate with my words. Resonance comes from within. When one person speaks the truth and talks about what is real, we can feel it inside us so long as we are not too numbed out. When we hear that truth, our own inner wisdom moves. It wants to come forward, and that tends to push up more lies that are covering that truth. With your sincerity, you can process those lies, and a new level of spiritual revelation naturally moves forward. This cycle can continue for some time as you drop deeper and deeper into the truth.
The Ego Strikes Back
But just when someone seems to be breaking through, they’ll hit a new wall hard. This is when it’s particularly important to focus on reality. The deeper you go, the harder the issues tend to be. What seemed powerful and deep and important in the beginning becomes child’s play. Some of you who have delved into deep spaces know this. But just because you are dealing with more powerful issues doesn’t mean you can’t handle them. You put those issues there. They are your creation, and you can take them apart whenever you choose.
Part of doing that can be going straight to reality. What is real right now? When the ego is screaming that you are not okay, not safe, [insert your issue here], breathe into the moment. What is actually happening? Are you actually in any real threat?
Most of the time, we aren’t in any actual physical threat, so the ego is making you respond inappropriately. You have to remember that a lot of our ego structures is built off of the fight or flight mechanism. Many people truly see life only through that lens, and they have an invisible question always going on which essentially is, “Is this person, situation, etc. safe?” Some people live in a state of agitation because they’re always on guard for a threat, and most people erroneously interpret a lot of things as threats–including spiritual shifts.
The Worsening of Illusion
Sometimes as we are really dropping into our healing, everything gets distorted, especially if you have a very distorted, paranoid, or otherwise mentally sick ego. You go back into the vault, haunted house, or whatever that you’ve been living in. Nothing seems possible. Life is too difficult and so on and so forth. These are key signs that you are back in ego-land, and they often are signs that you are coming up to another big shift and release. Lean into these moments, and breathe deeply. Keep noticing what is actually going on in life. Be extremely mindful of misinterpretations. When we are going back into this ego sickness, we tend to badly interpret situations which is why it is soooooo important to focus on the physical reality of what is happening and not our interpretations.
Here’s an example.
You and some other co-workers have been called into the break room unexpectedly. Some rumors have been going around that the company isn’t doing well and lay-offs may be coming. Your boss seems particularly grim, and you have no idea what is going on. The other co-workers aren’t looking at you, and you have been worrying about how you’ve been doing your job. You start to think you’re about to be fired.
Nothing physically dangerous is happening, however. Everyone is sitting and breathing in a room. This is what is real.
However, for someone who is really out of sync with reality, s/he might get so lost in her/his ideas that s/he decides resign without waiting for the humiliation of being fired right before someone yells surprise; a cake is brought in; and everyone sings happy birthday to you.
Focusing on the Moment With Each Breath
Focusing on the moment won’t necessarily make the inner space enjoyable when you’re processing old pain or facing deeper illusions. But it will help you to get to the core of what is coming up. Simpler issues can vanish. Even major issues can vanish when we bring our presence to bear on reality. You have to remember that most of what is going on in your mind is not real. Most of your interpretations of how to view yourself and life are taught. The spiritual space only takes you to seeing things as they are without your filter (or at least with as minimal of a filter as possible). And breathing in and breathing out with conscious intention helps you to notice what is actually happening and not what the mind thinks is happening.
Real Trouble in Reality
Real troubles in life are–for the most part–actual physical threats. Someone who is waving a gun in your face is a real threat. Not having enough food or water is a real threat. Being homeless and having cancer are real issues. These issues also pull you back in reality. Many people have spiritual awakenings because someone dies or gets severely ill. This kind of reality forces people to face reality and in this case, the reality that we all will die.
But when trouble is real, being mindful, clear, and open is even MORE important. Reacting from our unconscious ego tends to make things ten times worse and will usually miss hidden opportunities and possibilities for resolution. The encouragement is the same; focus on what is real. See what you are faced with. See what you need. Ask for help if you need it.
Fear and inner agitation will not help you here. So, at every step of the way, the unconscious ego and its automatic reactions usually based on fight, flight, or freeze are counterproductive to say the least. So you don’t need to be having an awakening to benefit from focusing on reality when things get rough. All of us benefit from being more mindful, especially when we are faced with an actual life problem.
Since wisdom abides in the present moment, we find ourselves resting more in our own wisdom and love as we focus on reality. The truth of what wisdom and love actually are becomes more and more apparent, and life simplifies.
One last point to make about the ego is that it likes to over-complicate everything. Life for its vastness and diversity is so simple in many ways, and that simplicity is greatly liberating.
So when difficult issues stir up, breathe into the moment. See what is real. What is actually happening? Are you safe? Are you fed? Are you breathing? Keep your focus on what is real, and any issue and illusion coming up from within can then dissolve in the light of your truth.